Why Talk about Streets?

Our vision: re-write the rules of our streets.

About a hundred years ago, streets were redesigned with rules that privileged the fast movement and storage of private vehicles. Today, American cities face challenges with congestion, growth and imminent technological change in their transportation systems. In the context of this growth and change, the way we’ve been designing and managing our streets is no longer working. We have a rare and historical moment to re-write those rules, to create newly human-centered streets that privilege great places over great highways and the movement of people not vehicles.

America’s streets add up to a critical cultural and economic resource.

America’s streets are where American life happens. They make up 30% of our urban space. They are a dominant component of public space, a generator of urban economy and social activity, and a conduit for everything that moves.

We should be designing and managing our streets with these precious values in mind.

 


Our Approach

Tactical Urbanism

The National Street Service is a means for the public to shape the future of their greatest public space - streets. 

  • We begin by asking people and communities what is important to them. 

  • We impart the knowledge and language to talk about streets. 

  • We give people creative tools and permission to experiment with shaping their streets to meet local priorities. 

  • We work across neighborhoods, generations, cultures and city lines. 

  • We challenge the dominant culture and beliefs about streets. 


Join the Conversation

We endeavor to understand all perspectives on the use of street space; and warmly welcome any and all feedback. You can find out how to get in touch with us on our contact page.


Who we are

Program Leaders

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The National Street Service is now being powered by the team at Ford Mobility City:One. Dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing mobility issues, the City:One team is building a city in motion - one person, and one solution, at a time.

 

Founding Partners

 

Greenfield Labs

Greenfield Labs was created by Ford to explore the future of mobility through human-centered design. In collaboration with IDEO we are exploring radical ideas to disrupt, augment, remodel, and reimagine mobility for humans and the things they love. Together we are creating a future where mobility is flexible, memorable, mindful, and most of all, empowering — a basic human right and invisible conduit for access to all the world has to offer.

At Greenfield Labs and through our National Street Service project, we’re seeking to truly understand and appreciate the value of the entire city street, from sidewalk to sidewalk, and spread this awareness as widely as possible. This is value accruing not just to our mobility services, but also enabling exciting, diverse and economically healthy cities. We’re exploring ways to help make the street safer and more livable as well as better at serving the needs of us humans rather than machines.

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Gehl

Gehl is a global leader in people centered urban design. With studios in Copenhagen, New York and San Francisco, Gehl is making 'cities for people'. Gehl’s urban design services span across all scales, from strategic visions to design and implementation. Clients range from mayors, city administrators, NGO’s, developers, private and public organizations.